Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Experience

Recalls first experience riding the rails as a child.

| Good Old Days

As a young child, living in a small Kansas town, my life was good. Then my father took a job with the Ford factory in Flint, Mich. After school let out for the summer, my mama, two sisters and I boarded the train in our small town and headed to Michigan for the summer. The trip took several days and nights. I remember eating oatmeal in the dining car and going over a huge bridge one night. My first experience riding the rails was nothing less than impressive!

Later, as a young woman, I became friends with another young woman who lived in my duplex. Her husband worked for the rail-road and was away quite often. Eventually, they were transferred to San Antonio, Texas, and I missed her very much.

I decided to visit her, and wound up on a train headed for Texas. The train was packed with servicemen. It was a long, hot trip, with the cinders coming in through the open windows, but I truly enjoyed San Antonio and the time I spent with my friend.

During World War II, I took a train to meet my future husband, who was coming home on a 30-day leave from the Navy. We had been engaged for a year, and during his leave, we were married. What an exciting train ride that was.

I am now living in Wichita, Kan., and I hope that Amtrak will come through our town. I would love to ride the rails again!

Virginia M. Moss
Wichita, Kan.

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